Tuesday, September 4, 2007

News and Reviews in the Christian Arts

This blog now is posted on a Christian newtorking site called Shoutlife as well as here on Blogger every Tuesday. Masterwork Productions will host a live chat for Christian artists every Tuesday from 7 to 8 pm on the site. To check out the site and to join us for the chat in the "Christian Perfoming Artists" group, go to http://shoutlife.com.

I totally enjoyed Anita Renfroe's book "If You Can't Lose It, Decorate It: And Other Hip Alternatives to Dealing With Reality" (NavPress 2007). I was expecting a collection of funny stories after having seen Ms. Renfroe's hysterical act at a conference earlier this year, and there certainly is laugh-out-loud humor throughout the pages of this book. It also includes, however, great insight and practical, Godly advice. I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Renfroe at that conference and she was very friendly, down to earth and pleasant. After just a few minutes of conversation, I thought, "We could be good friends."
Those same characteristics are evident in her writing, where you feel like you're out shopping with a friend who's filling you in on what's happening in her life. And she shares insights about things we all talk about with friends: how we look, how we feel about ourselves, raising our familes -- basically, the stuff of life.
The best humor comes in passages where Ms. Renfroe is attempting to explain something serious and diverts to tell us what's really on her mind, like how Suze Orman's teeth are very large and scare her or how she has a love-hate relationship with her cell phone, vacillating between wondering how she ever lived without it to wondering how she can smash it and cause it a horrible death.

I also enjoyed another book, "Conversations at the Girlville Diner: Finding God in Life, Love and Other Daily Specials" by Kim Bolton (authored with Chris Wave). Ms. Bolton is a Christian entertainer who tours the country performing and speaking. The book is a collection of thoughts from humorous to heartbreaking and serves as a great starter for your daily devotion.

Next week I'll be visiting with a number of Christian performers in the Nashville area. God continues to provide opportunities for those of us involved in serving Him through the arts to fellowship together!

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Daily Inspiration

The Blind Side

Read about the real life mom from "The Blind Side."

Lifeway: http://www.lifeway.com/article/?id=169816

Guideposts: http://www.guideposts.com/story/sandra-bullock-blind-side-football?page=0,1

Read Matt Mungle's review of the movie at http://www.buddyhollywood.com/.

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Lauren Yarger, Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

In 2008 she was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater with a Christian perspective for Reflections in the Light (http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/) and is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection. She also is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com

She also reviews books for Publisher's Weekly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She formerly was Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp, a national theater web site bsed in New York and a reviewer for American Theater Web.

She also served as Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. and worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

She is a freelance writer and member of the Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and The CT Critics Circle.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger lives with her husband in West Granby, CT and has two adult children.

Copyright Notice

All contents copyright © Lauren Yarger 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, contact masterworkproductions@yahoo.com.

Scripture from THE MESSAGE Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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